Self-described as a crisp, sparkling organic soda, Sky Valley Organic Root Beer doesn’t sound very traditional at all. In fact, my first impression is that this is going to be sparkling water, akin to Clearly Canadian, rather than a traditional root beer. I’m a little hesitant going into this one, as my previous two excursions were fairly disappointing. According to the label:
Sky Valley‘s Root Beer combines the highest-quality organic ingredients for a crisp, refreshing beverage that quenches your thirst. Enjoy!
A Twist on Classic Enjoyment
Hopefully, I will enjoy, Sky Valley. At least, I’ll try my best. I’m expecting at the very least, if this drink is designed to quench thirsts, that it won’t be syrupy sweet, and it definitely won’t leave my mouth feeling dry. Let’s dig in.
With a great bear illustration smack dab in the center of this label, surrounded by green tones, a white background, and clean serif fonts, this drink definitely gives off a modern look. I continue to feel anything but tradition given this beverage’s impression, but I’m not giving up hope that it’s going to be disappointing until I get a taste.
Sky Valley appears to be a brand from Organicville, an organization who proudly supports organic, vegan, and gluten free foods. That’s actually quite encouraging to hear, because I’m intrigued when visual care is given to the product I’m about to consume. It’s hard to find a biography of the organization, but according to an interview with Rachel Kruse, the founder and president, there appears to be much love for this organization. That being said, because Organicville doesn’t specialize in Root Beer, and has quite a few brands under its moniker, I’m a little worried about what I’m going to be experiencing.
- Carbonated Water
- Organic Cane Sugar
- Organic Caramel Color
- Organic Vanilla Extract
- Natural Flavor
- Sea Salt
- Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
- Citric Acid
If you’ve read my article on Dang! That’s Good, you know that I’m not a fan of hidden messages in ingredients. That being said, Sky Valley offers a lot of raw information in its limited ingredient list, and despite the “Natural Flavor,” I’m actually quite happy with what I’m seeing. We’ve got a little apple cider vinegar and sea salt, which should be an interesting additive. But real early we see cane sugar and vanilla extract, which is great.
My most immediate thought when tasting this brew, is that it’s raw. There is a dense bitterness that permeates my mouth, and gives me nothing more than a dark, root-like vibe. It’s woody. This has traditional root beer elements, but it’s different. It has a unique twist on tradition. Concerning the after taste, it’s nearly identical to the root beer itself.
Sky Valley is carbonated exactly as you would expect, so any earlier assumptions about it being akin to sparking water were dead wrong. That just goes to show you, judging a book by its cover is just bad manners. It’s not nearly as airy and light as earlier brands, but it’s not thick. That is to say, there’s no syrupy texture or taste, and I attribute this to the favor of organic cane sugar. That being said, it’s not very sweet, but it does leave a small tang on the tongue. It’s not sour, but it’s a touch repellant. Personally, I prefer identifiable sweetness in root beer, so that’s likely my bias bubbling to the surface.
As I would expect from any root beer, Sky Valley doesn’t stick to your teeth, and water can swish it away with ease. That’s good for me, because when I started this review, I was having some difficulty stomaching it. After about forty minutes, however, growing to appreciate it made drinking Sky Valley easier. After time I noticed the apparent saltiness and gentle vinegary punch. Furthermore, this beverage retained all of its carbonation, and unique root beer flavor. There was very little difference in flavor over time. Whether you drink it immediately, or let it breathe, Sky Valley is capable of delivering the same experience over time.
Despite the fact that it appears to have been crafted with some care, which I like, I simply can’t get over the fact that it has so little sweetness in comparison to its bitter, raw flavor. Combined with the tang and saltiness, it’s a strange brew. Like Zuberfizz, it might go great with a very sweet dessert. Basically, what I’m trying to say, is that if you’re a fan of bitter things, Sky Valley is definitely worth checking out. I feel as if, had it been sweeter, it would have been a nice once-in-a-while brew. Unfortunately, it’s just not for me. Chilling this drink certainly makes it more palatable, so consider that before you crack one open.
Rating: ♛♛♕♕♕ – 2/5